Complements of the New Year and new season. 2017 was such an exciting year in Bulawayo as far as creative arts is concerned. So much drama, growth, new entries into the market, and everything in between, rendering it as one of the busiest in the past few years (considering redundancy and the economy lol). The Bulawayo Arts Awards and Skyz Metro Awards are without a doubt the top two biggest events that took place in the city if you ask me. A lot of scepticism surrounded these awards but when the curtains fell down, I can safely say no one will ever doubt Bulawayo when it comes to event coordination and setting trends (assuming stay consistent and keep up the good work). In efforts of keeping up this good work and consistency, here are some creatives that need to be supported and assisted if we are to see the city flag fly high regionally and internationally.

  1. Maforty

The Comedian of the moment, Shoko Festival 2017 Top comic. Who ever thought Maforty will add ‘bookings’ on his bio. He has been putting in the work evident from the response of Shoko Festival and Intwasa, which are some of Zimbabwe’s biggest shows (plus he held it down at the Masvingo Night of Laughs). His content is up to date and original as should be and possesses that charisma and confidence in front of people. Gone are the days of the same faces in comedy and recycled whatsapp jokes, let’s usher in the new boys and propel the narratives. I give Maforty that opportunity, he is going to do it.

  1. Mantate Mlotshwa

I first got to know of this ah-mazing young lady through the Nalate Review initiative which was meant to be a portal that reviews initiatives and shows that take place in the country and beyond. From there I started seeing her name all over social media. I must applaud her for her mileage especially in using Arts and culture in building the capacity of youth to participate in civic and democratic leadership. In as much as we promote arts and culture, we also need to be conscious of our surrounding, the impact and valur we are adding among other things. This is what Mantate is doing, one show at a time, one event at a time. I have no doubt this year she will continue doing everything in her capacity to achieve her goals. Follow her on twitter @MantateQueeneth for updates on what she is working on and how to assist.

  1. Suqea Fashion Hub

Oh no, I’m not about to leave fashion in the creative narrative. This is definitely the brand to look out for in 2018. Their Fashion Express Show in December was nothing short of ’clean.’ What I also love about the brand is how they involve the community and all spectrums of creativity. I’m all about empowerment of the girl child which fortunately is part of what they stand for. Sukoluhle, you are doing great girl. Check them out on Facebook and Instagram. Protect them, support them. Next time you are invited for a high table event, give them a ring. (P.S shoutout to Mgcini Nyoni. I got to know more about Sukoluhle through his engagements).

  1. Charmaine Mudau

If there is nothing you can never take away from Bulawayo nomatter how much you tried, it’s our excellence in film and theatre. Bulawayo has produced some of the most phenomenal actors and actresses in the past years and we still continue doing so. One for the future is a young lady, very confident and gorgeous by the name of Charmaine Mudau, the Venda Princess. Ever since her role in Umbiko KaMadlenya in the 2015 Intwasa edition, she hasn’t looked back. Each performance is better than the last. Watch out for her in a pilot TV Drama series titled Out of Touch written by Raisedon Baya and directed by William Nyandoro. Just by mentioning these names you know you are counting down to a bomb production.

  1. Urban Culxure

What is Arts and culxure in Bulawayo if we do not mention Urban Culxure, the Bulawayo Arts Awards winners of the best online media (rightfully so!). Urban Culxure is everywhere, capturing news as it happens and helping out in community engagements. They are always coming up with surprises and interesting initiatives for the creative calendar, I can’t wait to see which cards they have up their sleeves this year.  Follow them on all social media networks and subscribe to their website.


Cover image credits: Mgcini Nyoni.